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  • Rio 2016 Promises "Outstanding" Ceremonies on Tight Budget


    (ATR) Organizers of the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics say their limited budget will not detract from the spectacle.

    The directors of the ceremonies for Rio 2016 (ATR)
    The four directors for the Olympic ceremonies, Andrucha Waddington, Daniela Thomas, Fernando Meirelles, and Rosa Magalhães held a roundtable to discuss preparations on Tuesday.

    The budget for the Rio 2016 ceremonies is about 10 percent of what the London 2012 shows cost. An exact figure for the 2012 ceremonies was never released, but media reported the total budget at around $123 million.

    “We are searching for high creativity and low technology to have a great show that will be very profound in the heart of the people,” Waddington told reporters in Rio.

    “The reality with the budget was there was not a reduction. We always worked with this.”

    Organizers say the ceremony will represent all Brazilians, including people of color, and those who do not live in middle-class neighborhoods. He declined to go into detail about how they will be represented, citing the secret nature of the project.

    “The show we have will be outstanding, without an outstanding budget, and this is all I can say right now.”

    Fellow director Meirelles said that no politicians at the local, state, or federal level will have any say in the content of the privately-funded ceremonies. 

    “We don't want their money so it can be independent,” Meirelles said. “When I talk about politics, I’m talking about the vision for the country and the world. I am putting my vision of the country and what it should be and what I hope it will become.”

    Meirelles said organizers are making sure "we don’t have clichés like the World Cup ceremony", but there are some themes such as carnival that they cannot avoid when creating a festival celebrating both Rio de Janeiro and all of Brazil. He added that he would be “ashamed” to put on a show as expensive as London or Beijing given the current economic crisis in Brazil.

    Applications for the 12,000 volunteers needed for the four ceremonies is open until Sept. 30. Starting on Nov. 7, auditions will be held to fill the performer roles and other positions for the shows. Once volunteers are chosen, rehearsals will begin in February or March, taking place two to three times a week. Foreign nationals are encouraged to apply, but it is mandatory they live in Rio during the rehearsal period.

    Written by Aaron Bauer in Rio de Janeiro

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